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November 06, 1981 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-11-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Newsweek's Knifing of Begin Dissected

By FRANKLIN LITTELL

National Institute
on the Holocaust

PHILADELPHIA — One
of the most viciously anti-
Semitic features in many a
year was published in the
Sept. 14 issue of Newsweek,
along with a cover picture of
Prime Minister Menahem
Begin of Israel. The cover
picture crudely, not to say
blasphemously, combined
in its border an interlacing
of automatic. rifles and the
Magen David.
The long feature story
was shot through with
hatred and prejudice of the
lower depths. To set the
stage for a political discus-
sion tainted with blatant
hostility to Israel, it began
with references to the
Jewish fight for freedom
from the British occupation
of Eretz Yisrael. Begin is
termed "a one-time ter-
rorist," and his resistance
group is called an "under-
ground terrorist organiza-
tion."
This column has carried
ample discussion already on
the difference between ter-
rorists and freedom-
fighters, terrorism and a
liberation movement. Ter-
rorists strike at unarmed
and random groups, to de-
stabilize a society.
Freedom-fighters, soldiers
not in uniform, strike at
military objectives.
Freedom-fighters, when
they win against a foreign
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or domestic tyranny, set , up
a constitutional govern-
ment featuring liberty and
self-government. Ter-
rorists, when they win, set
up a terrorist-criminal gov-
ernment.

We don't have. to like
the political line involved
in either case to see the
difference between them.
Menahem Begin was not

a terrorist and his band was
not a terrorist organization.
Unfortunately, some
Jewish writers as well as
gentiles, hating Begin's
political line, havehelped to
blacken his past history.
But I repeat: we may think
his politics a disaster in
Eretz Yisrael, we may re-
sent his statements about
the kibutzim, we may con-
sider his economic and reli-
gious policies a texture of
errors. As an American gen-
tile I do not feel free to pon-
tificate on such matters,
and I am somewhat amazed
at the Jewish fellow citizens
who, safe in North America,
feel free to publish ex
cathedra on such matters.
In any case, and this is the
issue here, he was a patriot
fighting against a military
occupation, striking against
military targets and per-
sonnel, to free his people
from a deadly yoke. And
today he is the demo-
cratically - elected head of a
representative government.
Newsweek, in slanting its
feature article against him
and against Israel, lied
about him — whether with
malice or through intellec-
tual sloth, the readers can
judge for themselves.

Newsweek went on in its
feature to quote an
anonymous "Administra-
tion official" in Washington
to the effect that "Everyone
in town, from the janitor all
the way to the Secretary of
Defense and the Secretary
of State, hates Begin with a
passion." Why are they al-
ways "anonymous"? Are
they as gutless in accepting
responsibility for their opin-
ions as they 'are
appeasementoriented in
international affairs?! -I am
sure that Begin, and any de-

and President Reagan
due to "chaos in
Lebanon" — as though
that chaos were not due
to Syrian invaders and
occupiers in alliance with
a PLO state-within-a-
state which has effectu-
ally destroyed a once in-
dependent republic. I
will wager that President
Reagan, once he lives
through the conse-
quences of his misguided
effort to do a favor fbr the
oil cartels aud Arms
manufacturers in the
Saudi AWACS deal, will
again remember that-Be-
gin's Israel is our only
dependable ally in the
area.

At the baseline, Israel's
refusal to roll over and die is
worth a minimum of a mil-
lion and a half NATO troops
stationed in the Near East.
On principle, Israel's com-
mitment to liberty and
self-government should in-
spire admiration and sup-
port from any citizens who
comprehend,what a legiti-
mate government consists
of.
Newsweek expresses no
pleasure, of course, in the
remarkable patience Be-
gin's government has

shown on the displacement
of the Russian-supplied Sy-
rian missiles in Lebanon.
The missiles, although
nowhere near as dangerous
as the AWACS Reagan
proposes to turn over to the
Saudi-PLO alliance, are a
standing threat to Israel's
security.

But to express such
appreciation would have
weakened Newsweek's
intent: to portray Begin
as a sometime terrorist —
and by implication a ter-
rorist today, and to blac-
ken Israel as an ally.

Like those who con-
stantly refer to Israel's
trade with South Africa,
which amounts to less than
one percent of South Afri-
ca's business; and then care-
fully suppress mention of
the fact that 40 percent of
South Africa's trade is with
black African nations,
Newsweek's intent in the
feature story and cover is
plain. At all costs, by sup-
pressing some points and
fe,aturing others, by mis-
representing some facts and
falsely presenting others,
the magazine set out to
undermine American
readers' support of Israel's
survival and wellbeing.

Friday, Ilavo ■ har 6, 1961 23

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dent American too, will care

little for the opinions of
some anonymous bureauc-
rat in Washington, D.C. if
he can successfully continue
along the path of peace in
the Near East to which he
has set his hand.

Newsweek continues in
the same tone through-
out, writing of a sup-
posed tension between
Prime Minister Begin

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